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Rob
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Open source free software can be good and as belts are tightening, looks like a viable option. I have paid for all the software I use and have found that as prices rise, I can search on the Internet for alternative products that will do the same job but not cost anywhere as much (a recent example is when one of my clients requested a specific report from the application I resell and was not available, I could have spent well over $1000 buying a well know report writing package yet a quick search on the Internet led me to a different product which still does the same job and cost around $400.00. I even had the programmer make a couple of changes to suit my needs…which he did with pleasure – and at no extra cost).

Paying for software automatically implies that the people you bought it off have to give you some sort of support, etc. Getting a free softwae package could lead to frustration wen it doesn’t do what you want and there is no support available.

Buy your software and support the developers who wrote it for you and help them make it better.